A median may be considered to be a long pedestrian refuge island that is raised and located near the center portion of the street. Medians provide a refuge for pedestrians and bicyclists who cross a street mid-block or at intersections. Adding medians to existing streets may require reducing lane widths, the number of lanes, and/or removing on-street parking. Medians can be designed with turning pockets at intersections or at restricted locations. Typically, safety is enhanced due to a reduction in vehicle speed and an increase in separation between opposing directions of traffic and a reduction in points of conflict where turns are allowed.

Medians provide a signature landscape opportunity and can increase community pride and sense of place.

Estimated cost: $15,000-$30,000 or more per 100 feet (priced on lineal foot).

Used for

  • Managing motor vehicle traffic and providing comfortable left-hand turning pockets with fewer lanes or more narrow lanes.
  • Improving access across streets in commercial, park and transit districts or corridors.
  • Providing a refuge for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the street.
  • Increasing roadway efficiency by up to 30 percent.
  • Providing space for street trees and other landscaping while reducing water runoff.

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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

Crosswalk to median at Shaker Square.

Back to Traffic-calming tools

Bulbout or curb extension
Choker or neckdown
Landscaping treatments
Reducing the number of lanes
Pedestrian refuge island
Speed humps and speed tables
Raised intersection
Roadway narrowing

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